If you've been searching for answers to how to get rid of dark eye circles, you already know that there's a whole lot of quick fixes and home remedies for dark circles under eyes.
The catch, of course, is that the vast majority of these remedies simply don't work. For example, the popularly lauded cucumber slices - they may be a lovely treat to give your eyes from time to time.
But the little dose of antioxidants and flavonoids they may impart just aren't enough to significantly lighten panda eyes. No matter how often you cover your eyes in cucumbers.
The same goes for a number of other home remedies for dark circles under eyes - coconut oil and castor oil are both wonderfully nourishing and may help you get fuller, healthier lashes but they're not going to do much for dark undereye circles. Ditto for avocados - they're nourishing, sure, but pretty much useless when it comes to lightening.
Of course, the last thing we want is for you to waste your time and hopes on bad remedies - especially when there's raccoon eyes that need rescuing. Pronto.
So here is everything you need to know to get rid of dark eye circles - for real.
What Causes Dark Circles to Begin With?
Why do bad things happen to good people? Dark circles, in particular, can be especially frustrating since many of us get plenty of beauty sleep and leave happy, not-too-tiring lives...and still end up with panda eyes.
So what's the deal? Let's take a quick look at the most common causes of dark circles - once you have an idea of what's causing your undereye bags, you'll be better equipped to nip the problem at the root...
Yup, something as simple and mundane as allergies can be the culprit behind those dark circles. And if that's the case for you, thank your lucky stars 'cause you have the easiest route to getting rid of your panda eyes.
Allergies cause dark circles by prompting the release of histamines in the body, which inflames blood vessels and causes swelling. Voila, puffy circles around the eyes. The good news is that something as simple as taking anti-histamines can alleviate the look of dark circles.
A huge cause for dark circles is the vascular bed of blood vessels beneath the skin, which makes the area appear darker. And if there's vascular congestion and leakage of red cells into the surrounding superficial tissues, dark eye circles look even darker, especially when you consider that the skin under our eyes is among the thinnest on the body.
The good news is that there are a number of things you can do to constrict the blood vessels, from something as easy as using caffeine to opting for something like Hylexin's Clinical Strength Dark Circle Eraser which focuses intensely on the delicate capillaries under the eyes.
As much as we hate to admit it, age changes you - mostly for the better, when it comes to a sense of yourself and the world around but also for the worse, when it comes to your skin. In the case of dark eye circles, age causes the breakdown of collagen, thinning the skin around our eyes so that veins show more prominently.
But don't worry - dark circles caused by age aren't as inevitable as they may sound. There's plenty of solutions to counteract the effects of years gone by.
The unfortunate fact of the matter is that some of us are just more genetically prone to dark circles. If you inherited thin skin under the eyes, it makes it a lot more obvious when blood pools there, causing fragile capillaries to stretch and leak.
That's a mouthful but it simply refers to more melanin being produced by the skin below the eyes, causing it to become a darker color than the rest of your skin. This condition mostly affects darker skinned people and is cited as one of the most common complaints dermatologists in India deal with.
And it can be a pesky problem to treat, but it's not impossible - lucky for you, there's a range of lightening ingredients that will help fade and lighten the dark color around the eyes.
How to Get Rid of Dark Eye Circles
Alright, now that you have an idea of what's behind your dark eye circles, let's get to getting rid of them! Here are the most effective ingredients, products and home remedies for dark circles under eyes!
Eat to Banish Dark Circles
One often neglected factor of dark eye circles? The food you eat. And it's not about quantity - it's all about quality. The key to improving dark circles through food comes down to incorporating tons of raw, antioxidant-rich foods into your daily diet.
The easiest way to do this is to invest in a juicer. That'll allow you to quickly meet your daily consumption of raw fruits and veggies, replenishing your body with a greater volume and variety of nutrients. Other ways to do this is to use a blender to whip up green smoothies that'll load you up with vitamins and minerals or simply incorporate more diverse, brighter salads into your diet.
Another very yummy option? Indulge in a bit of flavonol-rich dark chocolate every day, as well as foods full of omega-3 fatty acids like salmon and walnuts to improve blood flow to the skin.
The funny thing about caffeine and dark eye circles is that the way you use it can either help or hurt. For instance, have you ever noticed that any time you take something with caffeine - coffee, pills, energy drinks - your dark eye circles get worse?
If so, it may be time to stop drinking caffeine and start putting it on your face instead.
There's good reason why America's favorite addiction keeps popping up in eye creams everywhere - caffeine helps constrict blood vessels and reduce the build-up of blood under your eyes, immediately improving the appearance of puffy eyes and dark circles.
How to use it? You can simply dab on cold coffee under your eyes or use black tea bags for an instant treatment but a better option is to opt for an eye cream that's formulated with a combination of caffeine and other dark circle fighting ingredients. Our favorite is Sweetsations's I Lift, which combines 2.5% caffeine with a medley of other eye goodies retinol, resveratrol, ceramides and a heap of peptides, vitamins and antioxidants.
Another great one is 100% Pure's Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream, which has the additional benefits of being completely, 100% natural and packing a heap of nourishing ingredients like green tea (strengthens capillary walls!) and calendula (super soothing!) along with green coffee as well as skin lightening ingredients like vitamin C, speaking of which...
The quintessential beauty vitamin continues to reign supreme for good reason: Vitamin C works wonders for a host of skin problems and dark eye circles are no exception.
If the major cause behind your panda eyes are due to more melanin begin produced in the skin around your eyes, Vitamin C is the first solution you should reach for. Why? Simply because it offers a double-whammy solution for dark eye circles.
For starters, Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant and encourages collagen production, helping to firm up thin, collagen-depleted skin around the eyes.
But it doesn't stop there: Vitamin C is also directly helps lighten dark eye circles by inhibiting the production of an enzyme called tyrosinase which lessens production of melanin pigments. The fewer melanin pigments your body produces, the lighter your skin will be.
On top of all that, Vitamin C even helps protects skin against sun exposure, fighting pesky free radicals that damage and darken skin.
The easiest way to work Vitamin C into your daily routine is with a Vitamin C serum - you don't even need to get one specifically formulated for the eyes. Instead, look for a potent Vitamin C serum that contains at least 20% Vitamin C and has other helpful ingredients like hyaluronic acid for moisture. You can use the serum to brighten and lighten your entire face tone as well as dark eye circles.
If you read any beauty blogs - ever - you already know that retinols are a must have in any skin care regimen. That's 'cause this little ingredient is a serious multi-tasker, helping to correct every skin care issues from hyperpigmentation to wrinkles to acne.
And it works just as well for under eye circles. Why? It speeds up skin cell turnover and collagen production, helping to firm up thinning skin around the eyes that make dark circles appear more prominent. Especially if your dark eye circles are worsening as you get older, one of the most important things you can do to decrease the darkness is to strengthen the thin skin under the eyes.
By making the under eye skin's surface smoother, firmer and more resilient, retinols helps decrease the look of dark circles. The retinol-rich eye cream to go for? Replenix All-trans-Retinol Eye Repair Cream is perfect, loaded with retinol alongside ingredients like Green Tea Polyphenols, Vitamins C & E, Hyaluronic Acid, peptides, and caffeine to promote healthy blood circulation and boost.
Ingredients like caffeine helps constrict blood vessels while ingredients like retinols help firm up the thin skin around your eyes that worsen the appearance of dark circles...but what if the dark eye circles you have are mostly due to hyperpigmentation around your eyes?
In the case where increased melanin production is responsible for darker-than-thou circles ringing your eyes, the best ingredients to reach for are natural melanin inhibitors. Since it's your delicate eye area we're talking about, it's best to stick to gentle, all natural skin lightening ingredients like licorice root extract, arbutin (bearberry extract), and niacinamide.
All of these natural ingredients are melanin inhibitors that go to work to inhibit the tyrosinase enzyme, interfering with the melanin production process so that over time, your skin stops producing as much melanin. The best eye creams with skin lightening powers? The Bio-Restorative Eye Cream is a super affordable solution that combines skin lightening ingredients like licorice root and bearberry extract alongside exfoliants like glycolic acid to speed up results.
It even contains a heap of soothing ingredients like green tea, tamanu oil, rosehip seed oil and aloe vera to hydrate and nourish the delicate skin around your eyes.
Yet another one we love is Punch Skin Care's Brightening Eye Cream, which contains a simple yet very effective combination of arbutin (bearberry extract), Vitamin C, polyphenols, and grapeseed extract, which helps undereye circles by strengthening capillary walls.
Note: These lightening creams work but they're not an overnight solution - but keep in mind that the darker melanin around your eyes took time to form and it'll take time for them to gradually decrease.
Okay, the above ingredients are the best to keep dark eye circles away for good but what about those times when you just need a quick fix?
Get thee these eye patches.
Eye patches aren't just for pirates - in fact, if you need to brighten up dark eye circles asap, eye patches will become your new best friend. They're like a little miracle that latches onto tired looking eyes and imparts a whole lot of goodness in a matter of minutes to get your eyes looking refreshed and light again.
The best ones to use? It's hands down these Black Pearl and Gold Hydrogel Eye Lifting Patches - they're formulated with pure luxury: gold, EGF (epidermal growth factor), pearl as well as botanical extracts like green tea and grapefruit seed and they deliver a quick dose of intense hydration and instant brightening.
There's a visible difference immediately. The downside is that it doesn't last - but that's what the above eye creams are for. Just use these before important events and on those days the panda eyes are especially in need of help.
Another quick fix for dark eye circles? Hemorrhoid cream. Yes, it sounds disgusting but hemorrhoid cream is a surprisingly effective home remedy for dark eye circles to use in a pinch. Why? The active ingredient in Preparation H constricts blood vessels, helping to control the loose blood vessels that cause undereye circles.
Plus, hemorrhoid cream also contains hydrocortisone, an anti-inflammatory that can quickly relieve dark circles caused by allergies. Just keep in mind that hemorrhoid cream for dark eye circles is a quick fix and not a long term solution - use it when you're in a pinch but you'll want a dedicated eye cream when it comes to daily application.
Whitening Home Remedies
Say you don't have eye patches or hemorrhoid cream but your eyes are in need for some instant lightening and brightening. Head straight to your kitchen.
Some of the best home remedies for dark circles under eyes work simply because they provide an immediate whitening effect. Which ones do the deed? The starchy ones work best for instant results. Raw potatoes, for one, has natural bleaching properties thanks to an enzyme called catecholase, as well as a high vitamin C content. And it’s deeply, refreshing hydrating as well.
Another starchy all natural skin lightening is rice powder. Rice contains a heap of nutrients like para aminobenzoic acid, ferulic acid, and allantoin, among others that protect and lighten the skin.
Yet another home remedy to reach for is gram flour, which has been used for skin lightening purposes in India and Southeast Asia for ages. It's loaded with vital minerals like iron and magnesium and its starchy nature imparts an immediate whitening effect that's visible as soon as you rinse it off.
More Tips for Dark Eye Circles
- Do you sometimes wake up with worse dark circles than you went to bed with? A smart way to help your dark eye circles as you sleep is to simply double up on pillow at night. This simple action stops blood from building up under your eyes, helping to alleviate the look of dark circles over time.
- One overlooked cause for dark eye circles can be something as simple as a milk allergy. Some people have found that simply eliminating dairy from their diet has done more to lighten up tired eyes than anything else.
- Here's a quick remedy you can use in a pinch: Most of us have a tube of an Arnica-based cream lying around somewhere - you can use this to fight dark eye circles as arnica has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce the appearance of undereye circles.
- It's not just about what you put on dark eye circles, it's also how you put it on. Whenever you're applying an eye cream or serum, gently massage your eyes with a patting motion starting from the bridge of the nose and working toward the outer corner. This helps drive fluid under the eyes and helps the product absorb better.
- In the meanwhile, feel free to cover up. Just 'cause the eye creams you're using are taking their sweet time to work, doesn't mean you need to walk around with panda eyes. Choose a corrector or concealer that has a more pink-ish, salmon-ish hue to it for amazing coverage - here's a great tutorial here. Even simpler, dab on a bit of brightener around just your undereye area to reduce the appearance of dark circles and make your eyes pop.